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Western Reformer January 2018 PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 12 January 2018 22:41

BRINGING US UP TO DATE:  We wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year in 2018.
Dear Georgists and other readers,

Two years ago we downsized from the shopfront headquarters at Bassendean to save rental costs. Now we are meeting at 26 Second Avenue, Claremont, on a fortnightly basis through the great generosity of our host Owen Loneragan.  These gatherings are between 1030 and 1230 hours on alternate Saturdays.  Phone 08 9498 7515 for inquiries.

Primarily funds have improved.  The association has had no doubts about its mission but probably more questions on its realisation need to surface.  But from a lack of public relations skill or effort to obtain local community contacts the association has also downsized.  There have been several advertised public meetings but gaining membership has been very elusive and something needs to be done about obtaining and retaining female representation and stalwarts in the association.  This in itself would be most valuable.

 

AUSTRALIAN GEORGIST MOVEMENT

The inadequacy of National leadership through a recognised peak body with a single public voice has been a substantial concern in Western Australia.  Without one voice the Georgist Movement is so much lacking community credibility.  There is a need for a National body that is elevated above State associations.  It is currently incorrectly assumed that it should be based in Melbourne.  Better that it be located in Canberra for lobbying purposes.  Each State association can continue on its diverse trajectory independently but no longer be the prime focus of the Georgist Movement.  For this to be accomplished there needs to be recognition of unity in diversity.

 

TAX DODGERS REVISITED

The March 2015 newsletter pointed out a need for corporate tax dodgers to be brought to heel.  The association sent a message to the Prime Minister and Treasurer about our concerns.  Since then has seen a significant effort to catch tax dodgers spurred on by public concerns over the extent of the Federal deficit.  We are very pleased about this outcome.  But it still has a further course to run and much surveillance to continue on a permanent basis against the political efforts of the Corporations opposing it.

 

WAR MONGERS

The slogan " Might is Right" has much credibility internationally, bolstered by the machinations of the greatest powers and owners of nuclear weaponry, the most aggressive being North Korea.  We see international tensions of increasing concern fuelled largely by a variety of disputes and paybacks over resources, disparity of incomes and power, bringing insecurity and an unsafe world. Regrettably large profits from the sale of armaments and weaponry are still being made legally by many nations to meet an international appetite that seems not to diminish.

The organisation of ISIS [ Islamic State ] and its associates in terrorism is being addressed to an extent in the Philippines and Middle East but much more needs to be done particularly in some of the African nations.

The war against terrorism always brings with it horrendous civilian and military casualties seemingly against efforts being made for peace and regeneration.  Now that North Korea is approaching parity with other nuclear powers we wonder if it will be a good idea to balance tensions by threats and provocations?  It’s a matter that concerns not only Georgists but all of humanity.

A.C.T. REFORMS

We could look at the accomplishment of the Australian Capital Territory in how it has led the States in some areas of social reforms (not that we have to agree with every measure).  But hats off to the ACT for considering these matters:

• Leading in some aspects on the legal use of cannabis

• Led in 2013 in introducing Same Sex Marriage -went to HIGH COURT

• Allows the distribution of some porn material

• Legalised brothels but restricted to three Canberra suburbs

• Measures taken to reduce Stamp Duty as per Henry Tax Review *

• Internal review of Land Taxes and the transition *

Considering that the Territory can be constitutionally over-ruled by the Federal Government it has been bold in some measures, yet a leader in some social reforms. (Those marked by * are of special interest to Georgists.)

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The largest transfer of wealth in living memory, by Laurie McFarlane, 13 November 2017.  Extracts from this article as seen in Progress, (Melbourne, Vic., Australia), Summer 2017, pages 5-7.  Originally published with a longer title on the Internet at Open Democracy,  https://www.opendemocracy.net/neweconomics/time-call-housing-crisis-really-largest-transfer-wealth-living-memory/

The Chartered Institute of Housing [ United Kingdom ] has described how the buy-to-let market is being fuelled by older households using their housing wealth to buy more property, renting it out to those who are unable to get a foot on the property ladder.  … we find the dark side of the [ UK ] housing boom.  ...
Whereas in the mid-1990s low and middle income households could afford a first time buyer deposit after saving for around 3 years, today it takes the same households 20 years to save for a deposit. …
House prices [ UK ] are on average nearly eight times that of incomes, more than double the figure of 20 years ago. …
Most of today’s ’wealth’ isn’t the result of entrepreneurialism and hard work – it has been accumulated by being idle and unproductive.  …
… most wealth is gained at the expense of others. …  (See Prosper Australia, Melbourne, at
https://www.prosper.org.au .)  (Also refer to the book Who Owns the World, by Kevin Cahill, 2006,
http://www.whoownstheworld.com/about-the-book/contents .  To check the U.S. $ 57 million million  public debt that the middle-income people supposedly owe to the wealthy, see the website Global Debt Clock at  http://www.economist.com/content/global_debt_clock )

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Views expressed in the newsletters and on the website are those of some members, not those of the Association.

GEA President Mark Lofts, Secretary Tom Maxwell, Treasurer Stuart Dunstan, Vice-President John Massam, Auditor Owen Loneragan

Stuart Dunstan authorised representative 08 9498 7515

Georgist Education Association (Inc), PO Box 472, Bassendean, W.A., 6934; Mobile Tel. 0497 364 124
Perth, Western Australia, http://www.gea.org.au

 
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